grilled chicken

Pomegranate Chicken Wings

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I know that Labor Day is not the end of grilling season, but somehow it's a reminder that so much in our lives is about to change. In the month or so ahead, leaves turn to red and gold. School begins. There's a vague chill in the air at night. The sun sets earlier and nighttime comes sooner.

I also realize that many people continue to grill outdoors throughout the year.

I'm not one of them. If it's below 45 I don't feel like slaving over a hot grill in the cold night air.

So, knowing how way leads on to way, I am making the most of the grilltime that's left.

These wings will be on my menu soon, before I close up shop for the winter.

Fyi, you can use the glaze for other chicken parts and bake the pieces n the oven or broil them in an oven broiler. It’s also fine to use for basting a whole roasting chicken.

 

Pomegranate Wings

  • 2 pounds chicken wings

  • olive oil (about one tablespoon)

  • 1/2 cup pomegranate jelly

  • 2 tablespoons orange juice

  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 2 scallions, chopped

  • pinch or two cayenne pepper

  • salt to taste

Preheat an outdoor grill or oven broiler. Wash and dry the wings and cut them into separate pieces. Brush with olive oil and grill, turning once, for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. While the wings are cooking, mix the pomegranate jelly, orange juice, cider vinegar, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, scallions cayenne pepper and salt to taste until well blended. Brush this glaze on the wings and cook for another 10-12 minutes, turning the wings occasionally and brushing with remaining glaze, until crispy and fully cooked.

Makes about 24

Hot and Fruity Barbecue Chicken

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Around this time of year, when BBQ season is in full gear (at least where I live), you might be in need of a new barbecue sauce.

It gets a little boring to flavor chicken and fish and whatever else you put on the grill the same way over and over.

Besides, with so much fresh, local fruit available, it’s the perfect time for a peach/nectarine/plum based sauce.

So, here one is. It’s a little jazzed up with chili pepper, but is not overly spicy.

Hot and Fruity Barbecue Sauce

  • 4-5 ripe peaches or nectarines, peeled

  • 2-4 ripe plums

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped

  • 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 serrano pepper (or other small chili pepper), deseeded and chopped

  • 1-1/4 cups ketchup

  • 1/3 cup orange or other fruit juice

  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar

  • 1/4 cup honey

  

Remove the pit from the peaches, chop the flesh and place it in a bowl. Cut the plums in half, remove the pit and scoop out the flesh. Add it to the peaches. Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for one minute. Add the garlic and chili pepper and cook for another minute. Add the fruit, ketchup, juice, cider vinegar and honey. Stir to blend the ingredients thoroughly. Cook over low-medium heat for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until thickened. Let cool. Puree in a food processor. Taste for seasoning and add salt to taste.

Makes about one quart

 

 

Grilled Chicken Breast with Lemon-Oregano Marinade

I read that Americans now spend about half their food budget in restaurants. Apparently it’s because of everyone’s busy work schedule. After a full day at the office (school, hospital, what have you) Moms and Dads are to tired to cook.

The problem is that restaurant meals, as everyone probably knows, are more fattening, higher in fat and salt than you can cook it at home, not to mention MUCH more expensive.

And then you start to nibble at the bread they put in front of you. Plus butter. Or olive oil, which I understand is healthy but not when you absorb a half cup eating 2 slices of Italian bread. 

And then you have to sit there in the restaurant for too long when all you really want to do is be home with your feet up.

Or it becomes stressful because you have to be more vigilant about your kids because you don’t want them to be “those children,” the ones that bother everyone else in the restaurant. Or you aren’t and then your children ARE “those children” and everyone is glaring at you.

Or if you get take-out, you have to endure the smell of fast food that permeates your car and NEVER goes away even when you spray with Lysol. We once bought Chinese food, put the cartons in the trunk and picked up our daughter from somewhere and when she said she smelled Chinese food my husband more or less told her it was a fantasy. But the vapors had seeped into the back seat of course. They remained there for weeks until the next fast food load took over.

So much easier and healthier to cook something QUICK and EASY at home. Like a grilled chicken breast. 

Yes a grilled chicken breast can be boring. So can a burger, taco, pizza, hot dog and spaghetti with tomato sauce. The thing about grilled chicken breast is you can change the seasoning so it at least tries to be different.

Try this, for example. It takes about 5 minutes to put together, 15 minutes to marinate (or more if you wish — you can let it sit in the marinade for 4 hours) and less than 10 minutes to cook:

Grilled Chicken Breast with Lemon-Oregano Marinade

juice of one large lemon

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon grated lemon peel, optional

2 cloves garlic, mashed

1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

salt

pinch cayenne pepper

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

Preheat an outdoor grill or oven broiler. Mix the lemon juice, olive oil, lemon peel, garlic, oregano and some salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper in a dish. Place the chicken in the dish and turn the pieces a few times to coat all sides. Let marinate for at least 15 minutes and up to 4 hours. Grill or broil the chicken for about 3-4 minutes per side or until cooked through. Makes 4 servings